Today’s expert is the very talented James Day of James Day Photography. Based in Armidale, New South Wales, James has traveled all over the world taking gorgeous photographs including the engagement shoot of Miss Sea Breeze over on Wedding Bee. (See her posts here and here and see James’ shoot with them here). I’m quite excited to have James join Polka Dot Bride today and learn more about him!
Where and how did you learn your craft?
I was given my first camera as a young kid, and my father who was a very keen amateur taught me how to use it. He owned a professional camera, so when he passed away when I was 14, I inherited that camera and I taught myself how to shoot like a pro at a very young age. I learned photography at school, and topped the class, and my teacher started getting me work when I was 16. From there, I just learned as much as I could from trial and error and from other photographers. When I finished school I worked for a studio and the local newspaper as a photographer.
What is your mission statement for James Day Photography?
To create powerful images with meaning; at the highest level.
What inspires you about Australian brides? Is there a special ‘Australian’ quality about brides from this country?
Totally! Brides here are so relaxed and just let me do my thing. It’s awesome to work for people like that!
What should brides look for in a photographer?
Definitely ask your friends for referrals. Also, check out photographers blogs and see if you like their style, their services and them as a person.
Do you take traditional photographs of brides or do you strive to be different? What sets you apart from others?
I take a mix. I love to create a simple, perfect portrait or get in there and explore new territory.
Where do you find inspiration to keep your photography cutting edge and your interest in it fresh?
I get a lot of inspiration from Hollywood and the high budget movies that they produce, from other photographers, and from fashion magazines.
How do you keep on learning?
I photograph for myself a lot. I get out there and just play and take photos that make me happy. It’s the best way to keep learning. I also am a part of a few professional organizations that constantly provide support, inspiration and information on workshops that are coming up.
What is your number one tip for brides when being photographed?
Have fun and be yourself.
What do you love about the industry?
Photographers in general are great networkers. That means we get to hang out lots and share ideas.
What are your favourite wedding ideas?
I love it when people personalize their wedding to the max. Looking back through the family history and incorporating old family traditions are probably my number 1 favourite thing to see.
What are the biggest mistakes you see brides making?
I don’t see my brides making too many mistakes, but when the occasional client decides to book another photographer due to budget constrictions alone, I know they’re going to majorly regret not spending the money on the photographer they really wanted all along. You get what you pay for in this industry and it’s definitely the service that you will remember the most out of everyone you hire, so choose wisely!
If money was no object, where and how would you photograph a wedding?
I would hire a Hollywood lighting crew and photograph a wedding in Italy and go into it with an attitude of making a film style look through photographs.
What is your dream for James Day Photography?
I’d love to photograph a few more overseas weddings and get to see incredible locations all around the world. I’d also love to do more photography consulting to other photographers looking to take their business and photography further. I go into every wedding with the attitude that this will be the best wedding I’ve ever shot, so things are always exciting here at James Day Photography!
Photo of James Day by Jessica Claire